Analysis of Taxi to the Dark Side Documentary by Alex Gibney

The background history of torture dates back to the 20th century, post World War II period during the development and progress of the CIA’s investigative techniques where the CIA agents were taught how to use sensory deprivation techniques to help them break down the human psyche in order to make the prisoners feel fear, dread, confusion and increase their dependency. The history of this 20th-century torture tactic was specially traced back to democracies such as the United States, U.K, and Israel where it was regularly carried out. The British were known to use what they called ‘five techniques, which included – 1) Hooding, 2) Sleep deprivation, 3) Forced standing, 4) Noise bombardment and 5) Starvations and thirst against the IRA. However, such horrendous practices and techniques were discarded by legislation levied against it both in the UK and Israel, but sadly it is still carried on in the United States. It is quite difficult for most people to understand this kind of torture because such torture does not leave any visible marks on the prisoner. This kind of torture is of a particular kind because the techniques involve Stress positions such as standing for long hours or being shackled from the ceiling which is something that goes beyond human endurance. This kind of torture also includes deprivation of sleep and sensory organs. For the shackling of prisoners, the ceiling is covered with wire mesh and chains are hung from them to hold up the arms of the prisoners for long hours without sleep. In fact, a chart is hung on the prison wall to indicate how many hours a prisoner should sleep and how many hours he had to stand shackled. The guards followed this regimental schedule rigidly to succeed in breaking the individual’s spirit.

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